We’re currently enjoying the wonderful fall weather with its chilly mornings and hot afternoons. And as much as we’d like it to stay that way, knowing Idaho’s habits patterns we’re going to be in for chilly winter weather before long. It’s best to start on your home preparation before Old Man Winter comes knocking on your door.
It’s time to be proactive! Follow our simple checklist to get your rental home prepared for the upcoming winter!
Inspect Your Heating System
Before the winter weather gets here it’s smart to call a technician to come and inspect your furnace to make sure it is clean and in working order. You want to make sure to do this soon to avoid being way down the line for repairs as soon as we hit the coldest days of the year. Just make sure that your technician is a reputable HVAC contractor!
Besides hiring a technician, you should switch out your furnace’s filters. Regular maintenance on your furnace will help to prolong the life of the appliance.
Switch Your Fan’s Direction
One of the easiest things to do to keep your home warm during the winter is simply flipping a switch. Your fan should have a reverse switch or pull cord, use those to make sure your fan is running in a clockwise direction. Doing so will push hot air down, keeping your home all warm and cozy!
This simple trick is helpful in rooms with high ceilings, but it works just as well in normal rooms as well! Plus, because it naturally keeps your room warm by creating an updraft, you can afford to lower your thermostat by a degree or so. It’s energy efficient and will help save you some money!
Check Your Home’s Exterior
Many homes have wooden exterior trim, and it can be heavily affected by any of the elements. Wooden porches and decks are made from wear-resistant wood, but the wooden trim around your doors and windows is simply not made to survive in harsh conditions and will deteriorate fast if something isn’t done about it.
Repairing rotten wood is a hard job even for professionals to do, so the best practice is preventing the wood decay before it even begins. The good news is that you don’t need to hire a professional for this job, you can easily do it yourself! Simply make sure your wood is always painted and the caulking around it isn’t chipping. If there’s anything wrong, just repaint or re-caulk the wood! Just make sure to scrape the old residue off first.
Though your wooden decks and porches are more weather resistant, it’s still smart to get them stained and sealed every few years. You can check if your deck is due for a sealing by pouring water on it. If the water beads up, you’re all good. If it doesn’t then it’s time to get your deck done!
Seal Your Hard Surfaces
Did you know that when ice builds up it can crack materials as strong as concrete? If you have a concrete patio, driveway, or walkway, make sure they’re protected by applying a concrete sealer. Before you apply the sealer make sure to fill in any previous cracks to make sure water won’t get in over the winter. This will ensure that your concrete lasts!
Not all driveways are concrete though, and asphalt driveways still need sealing all the same. Just like a concrete driveway, make sure you seal any cracks before you apply the sealer. You can either have a professional company come in to seal your driveway or do it yourself by purchasing and rolling the sealer yourself.
Check for Drainage
Having drainage around your property can spell horrible news as soon as the weather gets cold. Perform a thorough inspection of your property to determine if there are any problem areas. If the soil around your home hasn’t settled yet it can create areas that water can pool in. Simply fill those pockets with more soil to prevent the soil from becoming saturated. You should also check your downspouts to make sure they are pointing away from your home. Consider adding downspout extenders if the water would fall too close to your property.
Too much water in the soil around your house will cause it to become saturated. If that freezes during the winter, then it could pose a risk to private well water or cause your septic system to fail.
Clean Out the Gutters
You might be tempted to ignore the gutters of your home, but it’s one of the most important things you should be checking before winter hits. The gutters of your home can become blocked by leaves, debris, and even a badly placed bird’s nest. Make sure to clear everything out before winter hits, or else they’ll cause a blockage in your gutters. This can lead to water spilling out of your gutters and into your home, speeding up the deterioration of its foundation and exterior.
Check Your Smoke Detectors
Because we all love a nice and toasty fire during the winter and during the holidays the oven and stove are almost always on, it’s no surprise that winter is the season in which most house fires occur. Please be smart when operating any appliance that deals with heat or fire, keep an eye on it and don’t leave the room.
Sometimes accidents are unavoidable though. Fire easily gets out of control, and stray sparks can spell easy trouble. Carbon dioxide also builds up easier because our homes are closed to keep the cold out. Because of the increased risk of danger, it’s smart to get your smoke detectors and carbon dioxide monitors checked out. As usual, you should be replacing their batteries at least twice a year and replacing them every 10 years. Just make sure to double check them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Shut Off Your Sprinklers
Shutting off your sprinklers should be a yearly tradition of yours right before the weather drops to below freezing at night. It’s a common thought that your lawn needs less water during the fall, but this simply isn’t true. Avoid turning off your water too soon to make sure you have a lovely lawn for spring!
Shutting off your sprinkler system requires a professional to blow out the sprinkler lines. Be sure to do this, or ice can form inside of the lines and damage them. This is a costly repair that you don’t want on your Christmas list.
Make sure to check off all these preparations from your to-do list! After finishing them you’ll be sure to have a wonderfully winterized home, perfect for whatever the snowy season throws at you! If you need help with any of these preparations, don’t hesitate to reach out! DJW Property Management is here to help you with your maintenance by using our qualified and approved vendors.